While we all hope that once you choose a web hosting company you’ll be able to stay with them as long as you have your website, the reality is that down the line there may be legitimate reasons for you to switch web hosts. Transferring your website to another web hosting company may seem like a big hassle, but if you carefully take it one step at a time, you might be surprised that it isn’t as difficult as you thought.
The exact tools and procedures you need to use may vary depending on your old or current web host. However, here is a general guide on what you need to do when transferring your website to a new web hosting company.
- Download your website files from your current host using FTP.
- Also download a copy of any database files your website uses (e.g. Use phpMyAdmin to export your MySQL databases).
- Upload your website files to your new web host, again using FTP.
- Also at your new web host, import your databases (e.g. using phpMyAdmin, create new databases and import your old data).
- Test out your site. Your new web hosting company will usually give you a temporary URL you can use for testing your website.
- Set up your email at your new web host.
- Point your domain to the nameservers of your new webhost.
- Retest your website.
It’s a good idea to retest your site right after you change the nameservers and also again periodically until 24 hours have passed while the DNS propagation takes place.
If you’re still not comfortable transferring your site on your own, the good news is that some web hosting companies will actually perform the transfer process for you at no additional cost. For example, InMotion Hosting and Web Hosting Hub will help transfer your website for free.